A sustainable approach is essential if we are to continue our livelihood. As a production company we have a particular responsibility. Egon König, who was the sole proprietor for many years, realised this early on when he said: “Sustainability is the highest principle in all our business operations. Only an organisation that has concern for the future has a future.” We’ve remained true to this principle and put it into practice at our facility, the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS. Step by step – by modernising, changing attitudes and introducing new technologies.
For visitors the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS is our showroom first and foremost. This is where we showcase our outfitting solutions, the way we work and what we stand for as a brand. But the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS is much more – it encompasses our entire facility with almost 70,000 m2 of production area on which we manufacture around 12,000 pieces of furniture every week. We have a responsibility to make sure the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS and everything it entails is designed as sustainably as possible. As one of today’s leading brands in office furniture and room systems we are already meeting stringent environmental standards at both process and product level. These three aspects are especially significant here:
Made in Germany: all our production takes place at our headquarters in Karben. Our supply structure has a regional focus, with most suppliers based on Germany and neighbouring countries – this minimises emissions caused by long-distance transport and at the same time meets strict requirements in terms of environmental protection and social criteria within the supply chain. Geographical proximity also strengthens quality and partnership in our relationships with suppliers. In 2021 more than 84 per cent of our suppliers (measured by purchasing volume) were based in Germany. Being allowed to use the designation “Möbel Made in Germany” is evidence of our strict quality criteria and that the manufacturing process – the critical aspect of the quality – is predominantly carried out in Germany.
It’s not just our facility – the actual production is sustainably oriented. A good example of this is our new high-bay warehouse, which is designed to conserve resources. The innovative thing about the high-bay warehouse itself is its fully automated approach, which improves processes and reduces errors. This frees up employees to perform other tasks that cannot be done by a machine, and we are working more efficiently. The store is also designed as a low-energy building – no energy at all is used to heat it. It has a greened roof to enhance the eco criteria of the new building development.
Our energy consumption and emissions are aspects we are constantly re-evaluating and optimising. We are working on keeping our energy consumption as low as possible. To achieve this, we are measuring consumption at different points across the company, using software to analyse the data and making regular adjustments on this basis to optimise our energy use. Since 2015 we have been regulating the ongoing improvement in energy performance in accordance with EN ISO 50001 via our established energy management system. In this way we have been able to reduce the overall energy consumption by 6.7 % from 2018 to 2019 for example (– we’ve deliberately excluded the two years affected by Covid here, because they aren’t representative due to the unique conditions). Every year we produce around 100,000 kWh of electricity from our own solar panels. All these measures mean that we have been able to significantly reduce our CO₂ emissions. For instance in 2015 we generated as much as 11,413 t CO2. By 2019 we were able to reduce our CO2 emissions by around 32.4 % to 7,719 t CO2 – despite a considerable increase in turnover for the same period.
These three aspects are just one part of the strategy we are implementing at our WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS. We invest everything we can in keeping our environmental impact as low as possible – including “tweaks” in our daily routine at work, like sorting recycling properly. Investing in LED lamps for instance led to energy savings of around 56 % for lighting. And HR management is also a relevant aspect of sustainability at our company. Our average term of service is approx. 15 years. Less fluctuation not only minimises the impact on resources, but also results in employees identifying better with the company and the culture practised on the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS. This has a positive influence on the goal of treating the infrastructure thoughtfully and kindly – and helping to improve it, thereby minimising its impact on the environment.